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Showing posts from January, 2015

Beavers Marton Mere Trip

I volunteered to help out with Jack's Beaver's trip to Marton Mere today (not Martin Mere, which is some where else entirely and where I almost ended up, thankfully me and one of the leaders compared Sat Nav directions and I was saved). Initially I was going to provide additional seats in our massive Ford Galaxy but it's been a bloomin FREEZING day and our turnout was low so we didn't need the seats in the end. We did still need the extra adults though so me and Freddie followed the mini bus full of Beavers and leaders.

It has been a fantastic trip though, despite the cold weather (Freddie snuggled up inside my coat and wisely slept through most of the trip - too cold to do much else when you're as small as him). We arrived in time to see the otter feeding, which was brilliant. Otters are fantastic animals! And it was great watching this family unit gather the cockles (I think they were cockles) and crack them open to get the food inside.

It was great watching the …

Valentine Linky & Custom Canvas Giveaway!!!!

Valentines Day is almost here, so how about a little Valentines Giveaway? Custom Canvas are giving away an e-voucher worth £50!  Take a look at their website, it's a really great prize!

Custom Canvas is an online store that creates high quality prints from your digital photos. With a great selection of products available to choose from including standard canvas’, acrylic prints, one piece jigsaws and 4 piece jigsaw prints. Uploading your photo is simple with our easy to use software and creating the canvas size that you want can be done in seconds. With great prices and quick delivery there has never been a better time to order a customised canvas! customcanvasstore.co.uk
The competition is open to the UK only. The winner will be chosen at random on Valentines Day and their details will be passed on to Custom Canvas, who will then contact the winner with their eVoucher.
And because I love you all so much, here's a linky so you can share your Valentine themed posts too - I'l…

Oh Fudge!

My diet has had a battering this week... I have been making and baking for Jack's Beaver's "Australia Day (indoor) Beach Party", and also for his class' Cake Sale. They both happened this week.

First off I whipped up a couple of batches of our FAV no-fail gingerbread recipe - I've posted about it a few times and here's that link again: Cookuk.co.uk GIngerbread Men Recipe. Beavers got Koala Bears, Surf Boards, and Aboriginal Hands. I chickened out of trying to decorate them so they went as plain gingerbread.  Oh, and O added a few "shrimp" foam sweeties - I didn't make them though! School got regular gingerbread men (with smarties buttons) and round biscuits.

Fudge is something I have wanted to try for ages. Especially after I spent ages looking at chocolate bark recipes for Christmas... I kept stumbling across fudge recipes and they looked SO good!

So I tried this one for the Beaver's party: Tim Tam Fudge (apparently Tim Tam's are a…

Recipe: Beef & Mushroom Stew

It's been a while since I posted a new recipe. Mostly because it's winter and I have been sticking to the same dozen or so meals over a two week period. I'm not at my most creative in winter... But this is one that we've had a couple of times and I've not blogged about. Hubby also likes to make dumpling to go with this, but they are pretty high in Pro Points so it's up to you if you have them or not. I try to work them in by using my Weeklies for them!

Stew Ingredients:

Low Fat Cooking Spray
1/2 lb stewing steak
200g potatoes, diced
200g sweet potatoes. diced
200g carrots, diced
2 tbs plain flour
5-6 big mushrooms (or more if you're hungry!)
1 large onion, diced
Garlic, crushed
Rosemary & Thyme
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable Stock cube, make up to approx 1 pint


Brown off the potato, sweet potato, and carrots in a little cooking spray. When they start to colour round the edges add the onion & garlic.In a bowl, mix the flour & herbs, and a little seasoning. Add th…

Loving the Loss

It's going to be a tough week this week. I am doing a lot of baking for my eldest boy, who had a party at Beaver's last night and has a cake sale later this week at school. I like to take part and do my bit. But I find it really hard to maintain any self control around all the tasty treats. This week I am surrounded by gingerbread and fudge (there will be a post on my main blog) and nibbling is inevitable.

SO! Since I am resigned to more going in, I need to make sure I am burning it off. I AM NOT QUITTING!

I don't have my Walking Buddy this week but I am still out and about. Yesterday and more than doubled my FitBit step goal. I was well over today as well. Tomorrow might be tricky (I am driving Hubby to a hospital appointment in the next town) but as long as the weather hold off I can get out for a bit on Thu & Fri. I'm going on a big walking trip with my eldest and his Beaver Scout troop on Saturday so that will help too.

I'm not imagining for one second that I …

Freddie's Half Birthday!

Ikle Freddie is 6 months old today!
I love this little chap SO much! I am still really enjoying him being a baby. I'm still wearing him in the sling most days - I can't remember the last time I put him in the buggy. I'm still breastfeeding him, although he does have some solids he still chooses boobs over mush most meal times. We're still co-sleeping with him! The mattress has arrived for his cot bed but neither me nor the Hubby have done anything about it yet! He takes up most of the bed with his Starfishing and kicking, but it is so nice having him close to us.

I wish wish WISH I had had the confidence to parent Jack like this. I hardly wore him, barely ever co-slept, and had him on a bottle at 9 months. I did more with Tom, and more again with George, and now with Freddie I feel like we can do it all. It's not made any difference to my relationships with them, or to their health or mental well being... but it makes me feel better. Freddie is a very calm baby an…

Weigh In #21

I must have managed to hit my reset button at last... I have been good this week! It stopped raining, sleeting, and hailing. The sun has been shining. I walked to town and back 5 days this week, and I even hit my FitBit steps target yesterday - and that hardly ever happens on a weekend. I have swapped my twice weekly "Costa Coffee and Cake Treat" for a Juicafe juice bar drink and a Nakd bar. I have felt much better for it too.

And I have been rewarded with a 2lb weight loss. I am very happy with that. Hubby got the same result. We're clearly back on track now after a rocky start to the month. In fact... I only have 2lb to lose now to to reach my Weight Watchers Valentines Challenge!

I am slowly adjusting to the drop in points, and I can feel the difference on days when Freddie chooses more milk over food (coz I feel hungry those days) but I am working hard on eating more fruit on those days, not junk. I am not looking forward to him coming off breast milk altogether, but h…

Juicafe Juices

So my Walking Buddy introduced me to Juicafe this winter. I've been past about a million times and it's always been one of those "I must try that one day" places but I'd never got round to it before.

I love it now and have been quite a few times. I am slowly working my way through the juices (because most of them seem to be Zero Pro Points) and I think I have found a favorite! A surprisingly yummy blend of apples, carrots, ginger, and lime. It's bright orange, fresh and zingy. I like a lot of ginger in it.

They make the juice right there in front of you at the counter. It only takes moments, and it's actually quite fun watching them pop fruit and veg in the machines and watch the juice come out. They do so much more than juice, it's worth mentioning; coffee, tea, hot chocolate, smoothies, milkshakes, and food too.

So this has become part of my Weight Watchers & FitBit routine now (yes there it is, that bright green thing on my wrist, I'm still we…

What happened to January?

Oh I don't like winter.... I really really don't like winter.... I'm ok so long as the sun is shining, and I can cope with the cold. But the dark, and the wet, and the difficulty getting out and about, it all just brings me down. I might have mentioned SAD once or twice in the past so I'm not going to bang on about it again right now. But I am suffering with it in bouts this winter.

I am still about. I am still doing stuff. I am doing a little bit of blogging on my other pages. I'm just not feeling it right now. And I find it hard to write with any passion when all I want to do is hibernate (unless I'm talking about SAD in which case I can harp on for hours)

My diet took a hit - have a little look at "Yummy Mummy" which I have been keeping up with because I am committed to weighing in each week. All through January I have been up and down and making very little progress. This week I have had a bit of a boost - the sun came out and while it seems like …

The Sun Came Out!

The sun has come back, and brought my smile and motivation with it. I really cannot function properly without enough sunlight... Monday morning and the skies were clear. It was cold though, only 1°Cbut cold isn't an issue. I bundled up, got Freddie all snug in his fluffy pola bear suit, and set off to meet up with my Walking Buddy. She's been low too so we both needed this.

We did over 2 miles. Not the 5+ we were doing back in November, but it was good. We also had a drink at the Juicafe juice bar (and a coffee shop coffee too). Today we did a similar length walk and had another juice. And we are both feeling better for it.

The daylight, exercise, and company has fixed my mood. The juice drinks have given me a boost - we've been drinking "Wake Me Up" which has apple, carrot, ginger & lime in. Psychosomatic or genuine? Don't know, don't care, I like it! We're thinking about going again tomorrow! I really should too because I have other commitments on…

Weigh In #20

Well, who would have thought this would get to week 20?? Honestly... I don't think I did! I usually pack my diets in well before now. Although I am struggling right now as I battle against Seasonal Depression and the rotten weather (who ever said the weather is no excuse didn't have to consider baby wearing in a hailstone storm!)

I haven't even felt up to doing a vlog this week. Mostly because my mood shows on my face & hair and I look shocking!

I have not done well this week. I have over eaten again. I am raiding the kids chocolates and feel like I want to go into hibernation. I am in urgent need of some walking time! I need to get out of the house, get busy, and fill my brain with good hormones instead of filling my belly with Cadbury's. I only earned 10 active points this week. I'd like double that. My walking buddy messaged me today to arrange a walk for tomorrow and I've said yes. I would have gone to town at least anyway, but there's a good chance w…

Winter Blues Vs Motivation

Mmm.... my motivation is lacking right now. I need a boost and I'm not sure how to do it. I am still bent on losing the weight, I know I only have 19lb to go and - after losing 4 stone - 19lb is no big deal. I'm not looking at what I have left to go and falling apart. If anything I am really positive about that.

It's everything else.

I'm stacking a massive amount of blame on the time of year. Winter wrecks me. I get depressed. I've blogged about this before, and I claimed that exercise was my saviour! I still believe it's true. Only the weather has been awful this last week and it's not going to get any better any time soon. I have stocked up on thermals and I have my new boots (which are awesome) so I am good against the cold and a little wet. But not against vicious hail storms or pouring rain. I'm not about to take Freddie out in it either.

With almost no walking going on my mood has plummeted, and so has my will power. I'm snacking and nibbling all…

Weigh In #19

I've had a rotten week. I could write a dozen posts on all the things that have gone wrong or have bothered me this week, but to nutshell it: cough, cold, snots, sciatica, leaking walking boots, baby-growth-spurt, sleepless nights... you get the jist of it! We've also been getting some stuff done at home - boiler service etc - which has meant that cooking proper meals hasn't been an option some days. And there are still Christmas Goodies to be had. We have made bad choices and over indulged A LOT! For the first time ever I have used ALL my points, inc my Weeklies! AND I've eaten into my Active Points too!

On the other hand, the kids went back to nursery and school again this week so I've been able to get out and about walking again - made even easier with some new, higher quality, walking boots after I went straight through the soles of my first pair (this time I got some worth £120 - £60 on Jan Sale -  instead of £16). And Freddie's growth spurt has probably ea…

First Challenge of 2015

I have been taking part in a few Mini Challenges since restarting this diet - Halloween Hotties & Christmas Crackers - because I find that smaller, easier to achieve goals, help me along. I completed the Halloween Challenge! Hubby completed the Christmas one. Now I am starting a new one: Valentine Vixens (or reynards... as Hubby deemed Vixens sexist, but it doesn't have the same ring to it).

My first two challenges were both for a stone weight loss. But I figured that people like an ego boost, a lift to their morale in the New Year, especially if (like me and the Hubs) you have gained a little over Christmas. So this challenge is just 7lb. Lose half a stone by Valentines Day Weekend. Of cause... more would be even better!

So we are taking this last weeks measurements as a starting point and we're on our way! I have started the group on Weight Watchers (for fellow WW Onliners) and on my Facebook group page (for my friends and family that are using Slimming World or not using …

Weigh In #18

So the diet holiday has ended. Today I am back on it!

This week has been the "Big Eat Up" where we have enjoyed as many of the edible gifts as we could before weigh in today. It wasn't as easy as in past years! For me, it's clear that I cannot eat as much as I used to. I get full much quicker. I feel stuffed and uncomfortable now, and I never used to. We have NOT been able to eat everything! We still have a bit of Christmas Cake left (that will go today and be pointed), we still have some chocolate biscuits, Thorntons chocolates, and about 6 packets of Jaffa Cakes left too - and that's just our stuff, I'm not counting the kids chocolate as we don't touch theirs. So what's left is going to be eaten slowly and sparingly - and pointed! Sunday treats, a tasty tid-bit on a day with low points. I think I might enjoy them more for being a spaced out treat!

The only thing I need to worry about it now is temptation..... knowing that chocolate is in the house has…

New Year, New Motivation

No prizes for guessing that the no.1 New Years Resolution on my list was to continue to lose weight! I have been enjoying my little diet holiday (I still am to be honest, I don't start again until Sunday) and I am comfortable with a little holiday weight gain should the scales show one this weekend. So far I've balanced out but this has been a "fat" week again,

What is interesting though (for me at least) is that even though I have given myself license to eat like a half starved pig (really) I actually haven't done. I had a real piggy day yesterday - I was laid up in bed feeling rubbish and full of self pity for having an ill New Year - and ate for more chocolate and junk than I should have. But other than that I have been relatively restrained. For me. I didn't get to 15+ stone by accident after all. Could it be that maybe I am losing the urge to eat by body weight in chocolate? Or is it that I didn't ban myself from the treats making them less tempting a…

Freddie the Foodie

I'm not in any rush for Freddie to grow up. I'd love to freeze time with my boys just as they are, but I can't. Least of all Freddie who is determined to catch up with his big brothers! He has been watching us all eat with great interest for a few weeks, and has started to grab at food and try to cram it in his mouth. He's had the odd taste of sauce from my fingers, and a few scraps of chocolate over Christmas anyway. So... I have caved in to this milestone and started to give him small amounts of food.

New Years Eve and I had cooked bangers and mash for the kids, with our "Orange Mash" (like I use on pigsty pie and a ton of other stuff) and baked beans. I spooned a little of the mash into a small dish, added some cool boiled water to thin it out a bit, and found a little rubber tipped spoon. Freddie LOVED it! It didn't go through the baby food mill so there was the odd little lump of carrot in which Freddie spat out (note to self, get the mill out & …